Target Body Part:
Back, Shoulders

Equipment Needed:
Resistance Bands/Cables

 

Step 1

Starting Position: Kneel on a mat holding resistance cable or band handles in each hand with your arms straight in front of your body, at or just above shoulder height. Your elbows will remain straight throughout the exercise. Grip the handles with the thumbs wrapped around the handles and palms facing each other. Brace your abdominal / core muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow your low back to arch. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.

Step 2

Downward Movement: Exhale. Slowly pull your arms in a wide arc back and down to the level of your hips. As you move through the arc, slowly rotate your arms so that your palms face upward. Keep your torso erect and do not allow your low back to arch.

Step 3

Upward Movement: Inhale and slowly return your arms back to the start position keeping your elbows straight and torso vertical.

Try performing this exercise alongside a mirror to monitor any change in your back or shoulder position.

 

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

Target Body Part:
Arms, Chest

Equipment Needed:
Medicine Ball

 

Step 1

Starting Position:

In a standing position, lean over slightly at the hips keeping the back flat.

Step 2

Begin with the medicine ball at the chest with elbows out to the sides and forcefully push the ball toward the floor underneath the chest.

Step 3

Catch the ball when it rebounds and repeat quickly.

 

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

Plyometrics are great for cardio, toning and fat loss here, we take a look at how the humble plyometric box can be a killer workout session.

The benefits of plyometric exercises  - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

“The plyo box has been popular among athletes and hard-core fitness enthusiasts for a while now, but has become more mainstream since the introduction of CrossFit,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They are great for cardio-based and high-intensity training, but can also be used for rehabilitative purposes and for evening out physique imbalances.Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals. While fixed-height boxes are available and usually come in sets of three to four, try opting for a sturdy, adjustable step if you are tight on space. And if you aren’t confident in the jumps, we say go for foam rather than metal or wood versions: a lot less chance of skinned shins.

For cardio/fat loss: Plyometric training involves using explosive bodyweight movements to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time – making them the perfect fat-burning tool. Explosive movements also mean power and strength, especially in the lower body, can be achieved. Again, keep rest periods short and repetitions as high as possible – although given their taxing nature, sessions shouldn’t go much longer then 30 to 45 minutes. Tip: “When performing box jumps, start in a quarter squat and hinge from the hips to engage the hamstrings and glutes,” says Strickland. “Landings on the box should be soft to help avoid injury.”

For toning: While plyometric training is renowned for explosive bodyweight movements, Strickland says that there are a range of toning exercises that can be performed simultaneously. “Think anything from single-leg step-ups to incline push-ups using the box,” he says. “The varied range will target muscles you never even knew you had.”

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland. “I run a half-hour class and never repeat the same exercise, so boredom is never an issue.”

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the center of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

“Kettlebells, in my experience, allow people to get deeper into the movements than say a dumbbell,” says Strickland.

For toning:  Kettlebells of varying weights can be used to load isolated muscle groups. When setting up your home gym, opt for a set of light, medium and heavy kettlebells to ensure everything from shoulders to legs can be worked. Strickland’s favorite for a killer lower-body toning session?Image result for kettlebell workout “I often work some of my favorite kettlebell exercises into a circuit to ensure the muscles are exhausted while also providing a killer cardio and fat-burning workout,” he says. “Try a burpee to kettlebell deadlift to kettlebell upright row. Say no more, this will push your whole body to its limits, and then some.”

For fat loss/cardio: Fat loss and cardio fitness are best achieved through circuit-style training, with limited rest and higher repetitions to ensure the heart rate is elevated for long periods. Strickland suggests high-intensity interval work, with exercises performed for 45 seconds at max reps followed by a short 15-second rest. Sessions should last for about 20 to 30 minutes all up. “Work from the larger muscle to smallest, allowing you to achieve a wider variety of movements. It also means the most taxing, compound movements are completed first,” says Strickland.

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH AND FITNESS MAGAZINE

baTarget Body Part:
Abs

Equipment Needed:
Stability Ball

 

Step 1

Starting Position:

Kneeling behind a stability ball, lean the body forward at a 45 degree angle and rest the elbows on the top of the ball. Keep the stomach muscles tight and the elbows pushing up from the ball directly under the shoulders.

Step 2

Move the ball around with the elbows drawing the letters of the alphabet. Maintain a straight line from head to knees.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

Image result for HIIT

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves repeated bouts of high-intensity effort interspersed with recovery times, has become hugely popular in recent years. And for good reason: Research suggests HIIT improves both metabolic function and cardiorespiratory fitness, and requires considerably less workout time.

As a result, HIIT workouts can be found just about everywhere, from boutique fitness studios to large chain health clubs. The underlying principle of these workouts is nearly always the same: train hard, close to maximal capacity, rest a little, train hard, rest a little, repeat. Here’s what the research says about why HIIT is such an effective workout.

THE BENEFITS OF HIIT

IMPROVED CARDIORESPIRATORY FUNCTION

HIIT challenges the body to perform at the upper end of the aerobic training zone, which is called the second lactate threshold. When training at this end of the aerobic training zone, there is shift from using aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism to produce energy to fuel the activity.  Training at this intensity improves cardiorespiratory function during exercise and at rest, and the body shifts from using aerobic metabolism to anaerobic mechanism to produce energy and generate force. In fact, HIIT training has been shown to benefit just about everyone, from endurance and strength athletes to recreational exercisers. That’s because it’s adaptable, meaning it can be used for aerobic training as well as muscular strength training, or a combination of the two.

EXCESS POST-EXERCISE OXYGEN CONSUMPTION

HIIT also increases caloric burn after an exercise bout through a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Essentially, the body must consume more oxygen, which increases the amount of calories that are being burned, to return to its pre-exercising state after an intense bout of exercise. Therefore, by incorporating HIIT training into a workout regiment, body composition may improve as a result of the greater caloric burn associated with HIIT training. However, it is important to note that body composition is not altered by exercise alone; nutrition plays a key role in optimizing one’s fat-mass-to-lean-mass ratio.

SHORTER WORKOUTS

When it comes to workout efficiency, HIIT is especially attractive in that it does not require a large amount of time to reap the benefits. HIIT workouts typically last 20-30 minutes and are extremely effective as long as the intensity level is high. From both a psychological and physiological perspective, it is easier to maintain a high level intensity for a brief period of time than it is over a longer period of time, greater than 30 minutes.

With a growing body of research demonstrating that HIIT can be an effective and efficient way to exercise, this high-intensity workout is likely to remain popular for many years to come.

Image result for Spring into shape

As much as we all try to stick to our workout routines no matter what, the cold weather and shorter days during the winter often lead to less working out and more Netflixing. Then suddenly the days start getting longer, the temperature starts to rise, and you realize that swimsuit season is right around the corner! It’s time to spring back into shape, but where and how should you start?

Find a workout partner

Not having someone to exercise with has been cited as a barrier to regular workouts among both men and women. While you don’t have to have a workout partner to create a successful fitness routine, there are many benefits to working out with a friend. Not only will you have an extra layer of accountability to get to the gym if your friend is waiting for you there, you may be more willing to try new types of workouts if you aren’t doing it alone.

Choose the workout that’s best for you

When you’re just getting back to a workout routine, should you do full-body workouts or focus on one body part at a time to space things out? A lot depends on your individual goals and abilities. It also depends on how much time you have. If you’re looking to burn fat and lose weight, full-body workouts are much more efficient, particularly when using compound movements that use more than one muscle group at the same time. Full-body workouts may also mean you’ll need to spend fewer days in the gym.

If you’re especially pressed for time, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are great, but very challenging, option. HIIT pairs high-intensity movements with lower-intensity movements to keep your body in peak fat-burning and muscle-building condition throughout the workout. If your goals are more about building muscle, you may decide to focus on one body part at a time. The one caution here is that you may be more likely to skip the muscle groups you don’t particularly enjoy training until you establish a regular routine. If you are only planning to work out three days per week, this approach may not be the best for you.

The most important thing is to choose a workout that you’ll actually enjoy doing. As you’re reestablishing a routine, it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to go to the gym if you’re looking forward to it. Use this as an opportunity to try a new group fitness class like Zumba or spin. Not only will being in a group help motivate you, these types of classes are usually set to upbeat music that helps the time pass quickly.

Don’t skip the warm-up

If you’re especially anxious to get back to a routine and see results, it may be all too easy to think that you’re better off skipping a warm-up and spending your whole hour at the gym on a hard workout.  A proper warm-up is not only essential to your safety, it actually leads to a much more beneficial workout! That’s because a warm-up prepares your body for the exercises you’re about to do, loosens up your muscles and joints so you don’t pull or sprain something, and gets your heart rate going. This means that by the time you actually get to your workout, you’re already burning calories and stoking your metabolism.

It’s also really important to realize that walking from your car to the treadmill doesn’t count as a proper warm-up. If you aren’t sweating at least a little bit or breathing hard by the end of your warm-up, you aren’t ready for the really heavy lifting. A good warm-up routine might consist of foam rolling (especially if you’re sore from a prior workout), dynamic stretches (those done with movement, like walking toe taps and jumping jacks), and bodyweight exercises that mimic the movements you’ll be doing during your workout. For example, you might add high knees and butt kicks to your warm-up routine to prepare for a run or add some bodyweight squats to prepare for leg day.

Make sure you fuel properly

What’s the use of a good workout routine if you aren’t eating properly? If your goal is to lose weight, nutrition is an integral part of that, and poor nutrition can easily undo all your hard work in the gym. Nutrition isn’t just important if you’re trying to lose weight; it’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough and drinking enough water to safely fuel your workout. If your workouts are making you dizzy or lightheaded, you are either dehydrated or not eating enough prior to your workout.

Just like fueling beforehand is important, eating for muscle recovery should also be a priority. Try to eat something with protein within an hour of your workout. This is the period during which your muscles can utilize the protein most effectively to repair and rebuild. Abs aren’t the only muscles built in the kitchen.

Don’t beat yourself up

Getting back into a workout routine isn’t easy. Even if you start slow and have a workout buddy, there may be days when you give in to the call of the couch. The worst thing you can do on these days is beat yourself up and decide that it just isn’t worth it. Give yourself a little wiggle room and cut yourself some slack, especially early on. Don’t let missing a single day take the steam out of your engine!

Anyone who’s tried to lose weight knows that good nutrition matters a lot—even more than your exercise routine. As the authors of a recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine wrote, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.” In other words, even a calorie-torching fitness plan needs to go hand-in-hand with healthy eating or you won’t see the results you want.

But that doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself to bland “diet” foods. We asked seven women who’ve lost 50 pounds or more to share their go-to healthy meals, and the results were surprisingly appetizing—even bacon and chocolate make a cameo! Here are the foods that helped these women find long-term success.

Jodi Friedman

JODI FRIEDMAN

Jodi, 44, had struggled with her weight due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance. But after a nutritionist helped her devise a low-carb, high-protein eating plan, she lost 70 pounds and is now training for a half marathon. “It’s important to find a nutritionist who understands your health issues and supports your needs,” she says.

A typical day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: a protein bar with 20 grams of protein or more, plus a banana on workout days
  • Lunch: tuna salad with a side salad of mixed greens and tomatoes with aged balsamic vinegar
  • Snack: cucumber slices with a tablespoon of hummus
  • Dinner: salmon or crockpot chicken with a side of spinach or avocado
  • Dessert: kid-sized cup of frozen yogurt

Jennifer Finney

JENNIFER FINNEY

Motivated by a warning from her husband’s doctor, Jennifer, 41, and her hubby overhauled their eating habits together. “We went from a diet of processed foods, fast food, and dining out two or three times a week to a whole-food, plant-based diet,” she says. “We went all-in from day one, and the weight started melting off.” To date, she’s lost 80 pounds and now works as an online health and fitness coach.

  • Breakfast: rolled oats with almond milk, peanut butter, and pure maple syrup
  • Post-workout snack: green smoothie with spinach and frozen fruit
  • Lunch: kale salad with hummus and rice vinegar, topped with fresh cucumbers, red peppers, and chickpeas or lentils
  • Afternoon snack: apples with peanut butter
  • Dinner: a Pad-Thai inspired dish using spaghetti squash instead of pasta
  • After-dinner snack: a piece of fruit

Petrina Hamm

PETRINA HAMM

Petrina, 43, started the Atkins diet because her sister was interested in the plan. “She asked me to do it with her for support,” she says. Petrina eventually modified her diet for more balance, and has lost a total of 100 pounds. She says the key has been “taking it one day at a time. Too many people devote too much focus to the end game.”

A typical day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: a healthy “cheese Danish”—made by mixing egg with cream cheese, liquid Splenda, and a dash of cinnamon—along with bacon or sausage
  • Lunch: salad with full-fat blue cheese dressing, bacon bits, and diced chicken
  • Dinner: steak with steamed broccoli and butter
  • Snack: homemade sugar-free peanut butter cup (made with baking chocolate, butter, liquid Splenda, and peanut butter)

Whitney Herrington

WHITNEY HERRINGTON

The approach of a milestone birthday motivated Whitney, 29, to get serious about her eating habits. “I had been overweight my whole life, and I was determined not to go into my thirties fat!” she says. By following a low-carb, high-protein diet—with some extra carbs added in on workout days—she’s lost 65 pounds so far.

A typical day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: fruit smoothie with some spinach or kale and a scoop of protein powder
  • Snack: granola bar
  • Lunch: jerk chicken with homemade cauliflower rice
  • Dinner: baked chicken with broccoli and brown rice
  • Snack: ¼ cup of peanuts or cashews

Erica House

ERICA HOUSE

Erica, 32, found that a little patience goes a long way. She lost 60 pounds over the course of two years by cutting out fast food, sugar, and liquid calories like soda and alcohol.”The weight came off slowly, but it’s stayed off,” she says. “I went from being obese, binge drinking, and chain smoking to a three-time marathoner, yoga instructor, and online personal trainer.”

A typical day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: zucchini oatmeal
  • Snack: fresh fruit
  • Lunch: homemade burrito bowl
  • Snack: a scoop of peanut butter
  • Dinner: protein smoothie made with a frozen banana, a cup of spinach, chocolate whey powder, almond milk, ice, and a touch of honey

Anne Jongleux

ANNE JONGLEUX

Anne, 56, tried a few tactics before finding what worked best for her. She started by weighing foods and counting calories: “That was great for helping me readjust my ideas of portion size, but impractical for a daily lifestyle,” she says. Last year she went on an elimination diet to identify food intolerances. Now she follows a “mostly Paleo” plan of lean proteins, healthy fats, and fresh produce, and she’s lost a total of 80 pounds.

A typical day’s meals:

  • Pre-workout breakfast: coffee and a banana or two dates covered in coconut
  • Post-workout breakfast: coffee, a bowl of fruit, and two poached eggs
  • Lunch: an apple with two tablespoons of almond butter and a few sticks of celery
  • Snack: a stalk of bok choy and a carrot
  • Dinner: Cobb salad with a few tweaks (turkey instead of ham and bacon; hold the cheese and croutons; oil and vinegar on the side)
  • Snack: cucumber slices or pickles

Christian Ohonba

CHRISTIAN OHONBA

Christian, 30, says she stopped using food as a reward and started thinking of it as fuel for her goals. “I live with the philosophy that weight loss sparks greatness in all areas of life,” she says. Though she was scared to look at a scale before starting her weight loss journey, she estimates she’s lost around 70 pounds by tracking calories and journaling her eating habits.

A typical day’s meals:

  • Breakfast: salmon and potato hash
  • Snack: pineapple dairy-free yogurt
  • Lunch: burrito with ground turkey, black beans, and bell peppers
  • Snack: tuna packet
  • Dinner: steak with broccoli

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE

8 move booty workout - Women's Health and FItness Magazine

Shape, tighten and lift your butt in just eight moves with this focused resistance workout from fitness model Janine Horsley.

Warm-up (not pictured)

This dynamic warm-up will prepare your body for key moves. Consider it an investment.

2–3 minutes: (20 seconds each)

Begin with high knees, running in one place for 20 seconds. Followed with butt kickers, with heels kicking back to touch your butt, for 20 seconds. Lastly, fully extend arms and legs in a marching position. Perform jumping marches by jumping in sequence with arms and legs forward and back.

THE WORKOUT

1. Dumbbell step ups (10 to 20 lbs)

3 sets x 12–15 reps (20 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-dumbbellstep.jpg

Start movement holding dumbbell at chest level with elbows tucked in. Place one leg on a platform or bench and thrust up on to bench. The key to this movement is pushing off with the opposite toe on the floor before lifting and keeping weight on the heel on the bench when stepping down. Perform all the reps on the one side before switching legs.

2. Kettlebell Overhead Squats (10 to 15 lb)

3 sets x 12 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-kettlebelloverhead.jpg

Start movement holding a kettlebell with both hands at waist level. When you are ready, engage core, lift kettlebell above your head, and squat parallel to the floor. The key to this movement is engaging the stomach and locking the arms overhead and exhaling as you power up through the squat. Perform with toes slightly pointed out, shoulder-width apart. Keep the arms fully extended above your head until you have completed all the reps for that set.

3. Kettlebell Crossover Reverse Lunge (10 to 12 lb)

3 Sets x 10 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-kettlesquat.jpg

Start movement holding a kettlebell at chest level with both hands. Be sure to keep elbows tucked at sides. As you begin, take one leg back into a reverse lunge position in a 45-degree angle while maintaining an upright squat position. The key to this movement is an upright position and slowly crossing your leg in a reverse lunge while dropping the knee in a straight line down. Be sure to cross slowly to maintain your balance throughout the movement.

4. Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlift (20 to 30 lb)

3 sets x 12 reps (30 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-stiffleg.jpg

Start movement with dumbbells at waist level. Maintain a good posture with a slight bend in the knees and slowly lower the weight to the front of your calves, and return to the top of your thighs. The key to this movement is a flat back and slow and steady lowering of the weights.

5. Dynamic Speed Skaters (5 to 10 lb)

3 sets x 45-to-60-second intervals (with 30 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-skaters.jpg

Start movement with one foot forward and one foot back. As you start in motion, hop into a side lunge position, then spring off and do the same to the other side. The key to this movement is not speed, but balance and coordination.

6. Hamstring Ball Bridge (Body weight)

3 sets x 30-second intervals (with 20 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-hamstringbridge.jpg

Start movement lying flat on your back with your heels resting on the top of the balance ball. As you push down on the ball with your heels, pull the ball towards you and lift your hips straight up, and then slowly bring them down and let the ball move back to the starting position. The key to this movement is keeping your shoulders flat on the ground and squeezing the glutes as you lift the hips. Slow and steady is the game.

7. Cable Kickbacks – 2 sets x 12–15 reps each leg

(20 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-kickbacks.jpg

Attach the ankle loop to your ankle. Maintain an upright position with your upper body. Grab the sides of the cable machine, and thrust your leg back, no higher than your waist level, and slowly bring it back with a slight knee bend forward to finish. The key to this movement is slowly squeezing the glutes as you thrust the leg back.

8. Smith Machine Standing Calves 3 sets x 15–20 reps 

(20 seconds’ rest)

bootyworkout-calfraises.jpg

Start movement with Smith machine bar on your shoulders. Stand on a platform or step to raise and lower your calves. The key to this movement is a slow and full stretch on your toes and lower your heels to get the full benefit of the stretch. It is not about the weight, more the stretch and a slight pause at the top of the movement.

Image result for waist trainer

Waist trainers are HOT these days! With so many celebs jumping on board the craze, waist training has taken a front seat all over social media and TV.

Now, if you know me, you know that I am against waist training. As a trainer,  I am a BIG advocate for using science-backed methods like strength training and nutrition to cinch the waist.

With that said and after many of months of hearing about waist trainers,  I’ve decided it’s time to demystify the hype around these things!

The Truth About Waist Trainers: What Are They?

Waist trainers are essentially girdles made of fabric worn around the torso for long periods of time (up to 24 hours of each day). Exactly as their name implies they are meant to “train” your waist so it “shrinks and reshapes”. The idea is to pull the waist trainer in every few days in hopes of reshaping your waist into a smaller version of it. Waist trainers are typically made of heavy fabric or leather… some come with laces that are pulled in tighter every few days.

These days, you cannot scroll through your social media without seeing at least one post about “waist trainers”.  Thanks to celebrity endorsements, waist trainers have become increasingly popular and trendy!

What’s The Hype And Is It Too Good To Be True?

Waist trainers promise to “cinch the waist”, give you an “hourglass figure”, “shrink your waistline” and get rid of belly fat… all without the hard work of exercising or dieting! WOAH!!! Sounds AWESOME right? Wear a fabric thing around your waist real tight and get a flat stomach? Sign us up! I am SOLD!

truth about waist trainers

The truth is waist training can permanently shift your organs!

Unfortunately, the hype around these products are very much, well, hyped up and too good to be true! Let me tell you, it’s next to IMPOSSIBLE to shrink or reshape your waist WITHOUT a proper nutrition and exercise program! Or without some sort of surgical intervention! Why? Because the science simply does not add up!

The human body has its own natural girdle… and you guessed it, it’s called MUSCLE! Our organs are surrounded by tissue, including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, erector spinae and lumbar muscles in the lower back. There are lots of hard muscles at work keeping us upright and everything together!

It just so happens that we also have another type of tissue called fat covering the muscles. You cannot change the shape of your torso or waist simply by wearing a piece of fabric around it. Nor can you reduce the amount of fat cells or fat tissue in your body by wearing a piece of very tight fabric. Science just doesn’t work that way!  In fact wearing such things can be dangerous as it suffocates your organs and can cause heat stroke, and a permanent unhealthy shift in your organs. In order to shrink your fat cells, you need to build lean tissue to stimulate your metabolism and adapt a healthy eating regimen that reduces fat tissue!

Wearing waist trainers also undermines your muscles as you inherently start relying on it to keep your core engaged as opposed to properly engaging your abdominal muscles when working.

Is There A HEALTHY Way To Cinch Your Waist?

My best advice for those of you looking to cinch in your waist is to start exercising using a solid plan (like the Elite Fitness Pros programs) and eat well! Learn how to properly engage your core muscles! Adapt a healthy nutrition plan and last but not least be CONSISTENT! It’s that or permanent surgical intervention like removing two ribs from torso!

Simply put, forget the hype around waist trainers! Choose to hit the gym with a good workout program and eat well … soon enough you WILL see a smaller waist!

What's Better For Weight Loss: Green Tea Or Green Coffee?

More than just a pick-me-up, your morning cup of tea or coffee may actually help your weight-loss efforts! But when it comes to fat loss, which one of these greens reigns supreme?

When it comes to losing fat, no magic pill or powder can replace consistent work in the gym and a clean diet. Your efforts will always trump anything a supplement can do. That said, there are a handful of ingredients that may help boost your metabolism and enhance your weight-loss efforts.

Two of those ingredients—green tea and green coffee—may already be part of your daily morning ritual, but they’re also sold in supplement form as green tea and green coffee extract. If fat loss is your goal, is one extract better than the other? It’s time to put these two green titans in a head-to-head battle for fat-loss supremacy!

Make Time For Tea

Green tea, which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, has been recommended as a healthful drink for centuries with potential health benefits ranging from improved antioxidant status to cardiovascular support. Although multiple parts of the plant can be used, it’s the extract from the leaves that seems to offer the most health benefits, especially when it comes to weight loss.

The two components primarily responsible for green tea extract’s (GTE) health benefits are catechins, which provide the majority of antioxidants benefits, and caffeine, which enhances thermogenesis and fat metabolism.

When compared to a placebo and caffeine alone, GTE has been shown to significantly increase 24-hour energy expenditure. Over time, increasing the number of calories you burn both at rest and during exercise could lead to favorable changes in your body composition. Furthermore, there are multiple studies showing GTE’s ability to increase rates of fat oxidation (or fat burning) over a 24-hour period.

Long-term consumption of green tea extract has been shown to support modest weight loss, around 2-3 pounds, over a 12-week period.3 While GTE clearly won’t do all the work for you, research suggests that, when combined with exercise, it can support greater weight loss when compared to exercise alone.

Green Is The New Black

Green coffee extract (GCE), as the name implies, is extracted from unroasted green coffee beans. Its main active ingredients are compounds known as chlorogenic acids, which are thought to be responsible for its weight-loss effects.

While it’s not entirely clear how it works, chlorogenic acid may be able to promote fat loss by increasing the activity of PPAR-alpha—a gene involved in fatty-acid transport and oxidation—and reducing the creation of new fat cells through its antioxidant effects.

To date, there has been only one study to demonstrate a positive effect of GCE on weight loss in humans. A 2007 study published in the Journal of International Medical Research found that when GCE was added to coffee, participants lost (on average) almost 12 pounds over a 12-week period when combined with diet and exercise. This compared to only 3 pounds lost in the coffee-only group

While results from this study are promising, larger, better-controlled studies are needed to truly determine the effectiveness of GCE as a weight-loss tool.

Lean, Mean, Green

Green tea extract is the current winner in the battle of the bulge! For one, GTE has a higher caffeine component, and when it comes to ingredients that can have a significant impact on supporting your metabolism and help you burn more fat, caffeine is king. Second, the research on GTE far exceeds that of GC, making it a little more convincing that including GTE as part of your diet may potentially be beneficial to fat loss.

You may find some supplements that use a combination blend of green tea with green coffee extracts, but there is currently no research suggesting this is a more effective combination than either in isolation.

What To Watch Out For

The weight-loss benefits associated with green coffee and green tea extracts are greatly reduced when you mix the extracts with milk and sugar. Additionally, research suggests that protein consumption can have an inhibitory effect on their absorption.[Therefore, benefits of GTE and GCE may be maximized when consumed with water 2-3 hours before or after a meal.

Both of these substances typically contain caffeine and therefore may cause potential side effects associated with caffeine consumption, such as increased heart rate and digestive upset, but as long as you don’t guzzle the stuff, you should be in pretty good shape. Start with a low dose, see how your body handles it, and then make adjustments from there.

A Practical Approach For Use

GTE and GCE are most effective when caffeine resistance is minimized. If you’re already a coffee addict, the benefits of green tea extract and GCE supplements will likely be less effective.

While you may think you can get your daily dose of GTE just by sipping on some green tea, think again. An effective dose (about 600 milligrams) would require you to drink 8-10 cups of tea!  Supplements can definitely make things a little easier on you; just make sure you’re getting 30-60 percent EGCG—the active ingredient in green tea responsible for its fat-burning effects—in each serving.

Green coffee supplements are generally sold containing 40-50 percent chlorogenic acid by weight. In order to get the most effective dose of 120-300 milligrams of chlorogenic acid, you’ll want to look for a supplement containing 300-750 milligrams of green coffee extract.

SOURCE: BODYBUILDING.COM